Thursday, 2 July 2015

Kember & Jones deli café in Glasgow



Yesterday we took a trip to the Scottish city of Glasgow and I fell head-over-heels in love with its West End district. Somewhere in the heart of this beautiful and laid-back district, with cafés and restaurants on every corner, I turned to my husband and asked him: Where has this city been all my life? At 134 Byres Road we found Kember & Jones deli café and when I opened the door I was home. We got a table upstairs with view over the ground floor where we took in the wonderful atmosphere of this place.

I never write any of those 'my week in Instagram' posts on my blog (sorry folks, I find them pointless) but when I took the camera out of my bag to snap photos of the West End district to share on the blog, I realised that I had left the battery in the charger at home ... duh! Luckily my husband had his phone with him so I was able to snap these two at Kember & Jones and share them on Instagram. This only means that I have to return to Glasgow one day.


Back to the café. Personally, I cannot stand it when my latte is served in a large glass. Dazzled by the café's rustic interior style, I forgot to ask how they served it at Kember & Jones and it arrived in a medium-sized, vintage-looking glass, which didn't bother my latte-soul at all. More importantly, it was good! I ordered a sandwich from their menu with roasted vegetables, hummus, spinach and harissa chilli dressing, with beans and salad on the side, and it was heavenly. When I thought this café couldn't enchant me anymore I found pretty much all the cookbooks on my wish list on display on the ground floor (Sunday Suppers by Karen Mordechai and A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse by Mimi Thorisson, just to name a few, and I added to it The River Cafe Classic Italian Cookbook by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers). This café is simply a charmer.

As a final note, let me just say that if you ever travel to Glasgow or have a stop-over, don't make the mistake of staying only one day. I could spend days in the West End district alone. In fact, I think I could spend days just enjoying the cafés, restaurants and scenery on Byres Road!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

going coastal



I have gone completely coastal. All day my mind has been drifting to the shore and I just want to feel the sand between my toes and dip them into the sea. It all started when my husband sent me an image from his current location. He's away for work and is staying in one of those small towns by the sea that have a beach and a port. Tomorrow is our anniversary (17 years), and the National Day of Iceland, and if the kids didn't have school we could have been there with him and celebrated. Perhaps some other time.

As a compensation to enjoy with my latte this morning, I bought the July issue of Country Living UK, which happens to be filled with coastal style. There is this one editorial that caught my attention, Shades of the Shoreline, beautifully styled by Hester Page, lensed by Catherine Gratwicke. If I had a beach cottage that corner above with the vintage, rustic desk would be in it. I'm thinking about copying part of that look in our entrance this summer. I have a white wooden table there and I just need to get some shells and green glassware. In fact, I saw green bottles and jars in a shop recently that would be perfect.



There are plenty of other interesting editorials and articles in the magazine and one of them is a travel piece about Guernsey that ends with this cute illustrated map below (love those!). After reading the book The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (see this post) my best friend and I have been dreaming of one day visiting the island together.


As of late, I have been slightly obsessed with banana leaves and I learned from the article that Seigneur Peter de Sausmarez of the Sausmarez Manor in St. Martin "transformed five acres of woodland into a tropical paradise with bamboo and banana tree-lined pathways, more than 300 camellia bushes and an idyllic sculpture garden" (p. 64). Another place I would visit is the Hauteville House, with Victor Hugo's Garden, where the writer lived when he was in exile on the island from 1856 until 1870.



Monday, 1 June 2015

stylish bohemian vibes in Ibiza



On Saturday the latest issue of Elle Decoration UK arrived in the mail and the house tour I fell flat for was a 300-year-old finca with stylish bohemian vibes, in a remote area of Ibiza. It doesn't happen often that I more or less like every single room when viewing homes in magazines, but I have been just a tad obsessed with this one (that top image is now decorating my desktop). The feature, Where the cicadas sing, starts on page 98 and was photographed by Sunna and Marc Van Praag. I had to snap a few photos to share with you, of the corners in this home that make my heart sing.



The rustic part of the house especially appeals to me, like these ornate built-in seating nooks next to the kitchen (not shown in the magazine). This look feels so inviting. The dining area connects with the sitting area and also has a built-in nook. The nooks have a mix of textiles, cushions and covers in solid colours and with patterns. The home is inspired by the owners' travels and there are quite many global finds. I'm fascinated by that lamp between the nooks (hence the detail photo to the left) but it doesn't say in the article where it comes from.

Rustic sitting area with a fireplace and a built-in nook.

Other decorative objects that caught my attention were the ornate vases on the table below and on the stairs, and also beautiful rugs throughout the house.


The bathroom has arched original walls and stylish Spanish tiles. Don't get me started on the rug! I had to include the outdoor living area with the swimming pool. To see the rest of the house you need to get yourself a copy of the issue!



For those who aren't familiar with Ibiza, it's a Spanish island, part of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. Since I can remember Ibiza has always been associated with partying and nightlife, a quality that has never attracted me to any destination. But I have always been fascinated with its small villages and quiet resorts, and its mix of cultures, which is why Ibiza is on my to-visit list. There is this one old blog post, Colours of Ibiza, by María of EclecChic that shows exactly what it is that lures me to the island.


There is one more feature in the July 2015 issue of Elle Decoration UK that deserves a mention. It's an article about architect and designer Alexander Girard (1907-1993). The Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein is planning an exhibition of his work in 2016. (The museum is located right in the corner where Germany, Switzerland and France meet.) Here is a link to Alexander Girard's design for Vitra - I love his matchboxes.